Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittney Alexander.
Hi Brittney, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Well, my passion for food has always been deeply rooted throughout my life. Food was always a form of expression for me. I believe that we can use food to express comfort, art, love and much more. As a young girl, I can remember the joy I felt helping my parents and grandmothers prepare meals for the family. From Ramen noodles to my grandmother’s famous holiday Cornish hens and kale greens, I was always there to lend out a helping hand. When I was a Royal Chef in high school, I was able to explore culinary in a different way. That is when I was introduced to the world of baking. I started off by making no-bake cheesecakes for my family and friends and they absolutely loved them! It got to the point where they started requesting my cheesecakes more and even wanted to pay for them.
During that time, making money off my no-bake cheesecakes never crossed my mind. It took encouraging words and small gestures from family and friends for me to even consider it. When I graduated from Morgan State University with my Electrical Engineering degree, I received a gift that I will always cherish because it sparked my interest in baking a little more. My best friends Sherean and Julianah, who are also my line sisters, bought me my very first household stand mixer. They may not know it but that was the beginning of a new journey for me. It sparked a torch that was always inside of me but never had the courage to move forward with my dreams. A few years later, I started to feel lost and started to lose hope because I felt like I wasn’t fulfilling my true purpose. Yes, even though I finally found a good job in my field that paid well, I still felt incomplete. I would pray to God every day that he would send me a sign or a way to work more on what I was designed to do in life. Well, that sign came sooner than what I expected it to. I was let go from my job and was then forced to leave a life of independence and move back home with my parents.
Yes, I was a little down and disappointed at the time because I was so nervous of what was next in store for me. Then I just sat back and thought to myself, “how are you going to ask for God to take you where you need and want to go but aren’t willing to learn how to crawl first to get there.” Starting over can be so intimidating at first because fear and doubt begin to settle in but I decided to take a leap of faith and accept every part, good or bad, of my new journey to come. Who knew that I would find an internship by messaging a popular baker in the Prince Georges County area. Grand Occasions Bakery saw potential in me and decided to take a chance on me in order to steer me in the right direction in the baking industry. I was able to apply the skills and wisdom that were given to me to take a leap of faith during a pandemic, to start my own baking business. A year later, I have grown so much in my baking business and still learning and grooming myself in hopes of one day becoming a baker who makes a difference in a big way through culinary.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
My journey in becoming a successful baker has most definitely been one of the most challenging yet rewarding things in my life. Time management, working with fondant and tiered cakes are some of the struggles I have experienced during my journey. I have learned so much from my failures and started to embrace them more often than I did before. While baking, you will experience that something can go wrong at any given time. There are times where you can follow a recipe the same exact way every time you make it, and you will experience a different result at least once. During times like this, I see it as a gateway of opportunity to exploring different ways to create, learn, teach and even experiment not only recipes but methods as well. I have spent long nights and early mornings working on orders and researching different topics, trends, methods and more to enhance my knowledge and bring me a step closer to my accomplishing my goals. Another struggle that I have endured but learned so much from is running a business while also having a mental illness. Being diagnosed with major depression disorder in 2019 changed my world. At first, I was afraid of how others may view me especially when I started my baking business. Over time I learned that although my mental illness is a part of who I am, it does not define me. There are other parts to me that contribute to my success and shortcomings that make me a better baker than I was yesterday. One day I hope to use my platform to bring more awareness to mental illnesses through baked goods.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a home baker who specializes in a variety of desserts and treats such as cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, brownies, and more! Here at Sweet Intentions Bakery, we are extremely proud of and known for our unique cake flavors, snickerdoodle cheesecake and homemade cookies. We provide our services for birthdays, engagements, weddings, funerals, christenings, graduations, retirements, baby showers and corporate events. What sets us apart from other bakeries is that we strive to make desserts that not only fit our client’s creative vision but also create something that fits their personality as well.
Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
One lesson that I have learned while running a business during the Covid-19 crisis is to always prepare for change and be able to adjust to that change at any given time. Being in the food industry, we always have to be aware and up to date with new diet restrictions, health laws, reformed policies, etc. in order to better serve our customers.
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